Lemon & honey chicken

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins - 45 mins


Serves 6 - 8
This dish is best served cold, so you can make it a day in advance - it's also low in fat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving for six

  • kcal229
  • fat6g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs4g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre0g
  • protein40g
  • salt0.26g
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  • 6-8 skinless boneless chicken breasts, (about 1kg/2lb 4oz in total)



    Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…

  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • grated zest of 2 lemons and the juice of 1



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 curly lettuce, such as Batavia or Webb’s



    Lettuce are available in a vast number of varieties, and are either crisp or floppy, growing…


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5/fan 170. Arrange the chicken in a shallow ovenproof dish. Mix together the honey, lemon zest and juice, oil, salt and pepper, then pour over the chicken breasts and turn them around until well coated.

  2. Roast the chicken breasts for 40-45 minutes, turning them halfway through the cooking time, and basting occasionally, until they are golden brown and shiny and the marinade has almost evaporated. Leave to cool, then wrap in foil and chill until ready to eat. (The chicken may now be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost before serving.)

  3. On the day, spread the lettuce over a large platter, tearing up any large leaves. Slice the chicken breasts, keeping them together, then arrange over the lettuce.

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Comments (21)

dutes8080's picture

I have just made this dish for the first time for freezing for a Boxing Day Buffet, (did a spare breast for tasting) but have not tasted it yet. However there seems to be some problem with the colouring reported buy some people. I roasted for five minutes longer but think it has more to do with the basting.
As you get towards the end of the cooking time the honey starts to caramelize and deepen the colour of the marinade and it darkens nicely. When you then baste you find the breasts darken considerably. I have also basted during the cooling period and this deepens the colouring too.
I'll post again when we've tasted the "spare breast". My wife never pulls her punches so you can be sure of an impartial assessment!

mem53's picture

I've just cooked this for myself and a friend, it smells yummy and I'm looking forward to eating it. It was easy and fun to do too. I will let you know the verdict when we have eaten it. This site is really good, thank you BBC.

vittoriacorda's picture

Missed the part about cooking until basting liquid evaporates as well, but after 45 minutes breasts were golden enough. Basted several times during cooling. In the end, pretty presentation, bright flavor, succulent, best as part of sandwich. Will probably cook smaller cuts of meat than the 7lbs total for 8 breasts prepared this time around.

ajkerrynewton's picture

Did not brown in the oven - quite watery. Disappointing

annacav's picture

Really nice recipe. To get the chicken brown, once I had poured the lemon and honey mixture over the chicken I brushed the breasts with extra honey and put on the top shelf of the oven. Also, save the cooking juices, cool and refrigerate and drizzle over the chicken just before serving. (I also marinated the chicken for 30-60 mins in the lemon and honey before cooking). Delicious

kmcunliffe's picture

Did this recipe for a family party. Tasted nice but did not look browned and glazed like in the picture. When the cooking time was over I also had a lot of the juice left.

hera247's picture

This tasted lovely!! However it didn't look the same as the picture above :( how do u get that glazed golden look pls?

katemann's picture

Made this today for a family reunion party & it went down a storm. So easy to make, looked great & tasted delicious. I don't think there was any left by the end.

simonjury's picture

Just made this today and tested it earlier, Really good and so easy,. Cut the fillets into small ones before cooking to reduce cookig time as had quite a bit to do on top of this.

jmc123's picture

Made this for a New Years Eve buffet after all the positive comments. YUCK YUCK YUCK. all it tasted of was lemon, didn't look pretty, and funnily enough remained virtually untouched. Luckily I used up the left over chicken in a chicken and leek pie with bacon which went some way to masking the lemon flavour. Definately won't be doing this again, completely unbalanced flavours.

glenyst's picture

Easy to make and delicious. I found they took longer to cook than the recipe stated, but left it till they looked right, and that seemed to be OK. I didn't find I needed the whole of the lettuce to serve. Will make it again - maybe try it with turkey for a Christmas buffet.

hclarke1's picture

This was very easy to make and looked impressive served on a platter. Made it for our Village Hall bring and share picnic party on the day of the Royal Wedding. Would definitely make again.

clairedude's picture

Really tasty!

pennyrid's picture

Delicious - after cooking the chicken and letting it cool I sliced it quite small and then tossed it in with some mixed leaves. Made a lovely salad that everyone enjoyed.

iraandoleh's picture

Not sure where I went wrong, but I dint like it and it was least popular with my guests :-(

brendad's picture

This was gorgeous - I ate it hot as soon as it was cooked, will try it cold next time but will take a lot to beat it.

carolinefield's picture

I made this for a lunch following a family funeral. It was a tricky choice because I wanted to do something nice but simple, not showy. I served the chicken with couscous with roast veg and a green salad. Just right. I'm cooking lunch for my team at work tomorrow and doing it again

abbeybel4's picture

lovely, made it with chicken legs the second time, cheaper and just as tasty. had it twice in one week!

lindsayentwistle's picture

Excellent buffet recipe, enjoyed by all.

katherineturton's picture

I made this for a party and it was delicious. The chicken was so incredibly moist and tender.


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